Canadians can now apply for new dental benefit: here's how
As of Dec. 1, eligible Canadians can apply through the Canada Revenue Agency to receive funding as part of the first ever federal dental-care program, and as of Dec. 12 applications will open for low-income renters looking to access the one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit.
On Nov. 17 the NDP-backed Liberal affordability bill bringing in both the dental-care benefit and rental boost for lower-income Canadians—known as Bill C-31—became law. At the time, the government committed to having the application process launched before the end of the year.
On Wednesday, the federal financial agency briefed reporters on how the system will work for Canadians looking to apply for these benefits, billing the system as "streamlined and user-friendly."
The CRA says it will only take a couple of minutes to apply, because there are some upfront verification built into the system, including checking if your 2021 tax return has been filed.
Here's what you need to know.
WHAT IS THE "CANADA DENTAL BENEFIT"?
For now, the "Canada Dental Benefit" will be offered to children under the age of 12, with an annual family income of less than $90,000, with the amount provided per child per year dependant on family income.
- $650 would be provided per child if the family’s adjusted net income is under $70,000;
- $390 would be provided per child if the family’s adjusted net income is between $70,000 and $79,999; and
- $260 would be provided per child if the family’s adjusted net income is between $80,000 and $89,999.
The amount offered is the government's "best calibration" of how much funding is needed to cover basic dental care—exams, cleanings, X-rays, and fillings— without much left over, according to government officials who briefed reporters on the program in September.
The first phase of dental care will provide eligible parents or guardians with "direct, up-front tax-free payments to cover dental expenses."
This interim dental benefit is only available for two periods, and parents or caregivers can receive a maximum of two payments for each eligible child.
The first period covers expenses retroactive to Oct. 1, 2022, through to June 30, 2023. The second period will cover dental services the child received between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024.
If a child's dental care costs more than $650 and the parent or guardian has only applied for one benefit period, they may meet the criteria for an additional payment.
HOW TO APPLY FOR DENTAL COVERAGE
Applicants will have two options to access the online portal: either through their CRA "My Account" or through their Service Canada account. For those without access to the online systems, the CRA is setting up a dedicated dental benefit phone line to receive applications.
Either way, those applying will have to make a series of attestations in order to determine eligibility, as well as answer security questions to verify their identity.
For example, parents or guardians making the application will have to confirm:
- Their child was born on or after Dec. 2, 2010, making them 12 years old as of Dec. 1, 2022;
- They are currently receiving the Canada Child Benefit as of Dec. 1, 2022;
- Their child does not have access to private dental care coverage nor are their costs fully covered by another dental program provided by any other level of government;
- They will have out-of-pocket dental care expenses for which they will use the benefit; and
- They have filed their 2021 income tax and benefit return.
Applicants can submit to receive this financial support ahead of appointments, but will have to provide proof of eligibility such as contact information for the dental service provider, date of the appointment, and information related to their employer and spouse or partner related to their benefit coverage.
The CRA is highly recommending signing up for direct deposit as the fastest and easiest way to receive this funding, noting that the estimated wait time for payments is five business days if signed up for direct deposit, whereas it could take 10 business days to receive a cheque by mail.
The law has also set up a process for bureaucrats to check eligibility information—including contacting employers—and there could be penalties for those who submit fraudulent claims. The CRA is encouraging those who apply to print and save a copy of their applications as well as any relevant documentation such as receipts, in case verification is needed down the line.
For example, if for some reason a parent or guardian applies for funding in the first period but does not end up having dental care expenses during that timeframe, they will be required to repay that amount and reapply for the second eligibility period.
While only those under 12 years old will get access for now, the government says it remains committed to following through on seeing this stop-gap measure become a fully-fledged national dental care plan by 2025.
WHAT ABOUT THE "CANADA HOUSING BENEFIT" TOP-UP?
A for sale sign outside a home indicates that it has been rented, in Ottawa, on Monday, March 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
The other form of federal funding that eligible Canadians can soon access is the one-time $500 top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit. The application process for this funding will launch on Monday, Dec. 12, according to the CRA.
This is a program for low-income renters with adjusted net incomes below $35,000 for families, or $20,000 for individuals who pay at least 30 per cent of their adjusted net income on rent and are paying rent for their own primary residence in Canada.
In order to receive this $500 payment to help cover rent, applicants need to confirm they:
- Have filed their 2021 income tax and benefit return;
- Are at least 15 years of age as of Dec. 1, 2022;
- Are a resident in Canada for tax purposes in 2022;
- Have their principal residence in Canada as of Dec. 1, 2022;
- Have paid rent for their own shelter in 2022; and
- Have paid at least 30 per cent of their 2021 adjusted net family income on rent in the 2022 calendar year.
Applicants need to be ready to provide some basic information such as their address, who they paid rent to and how to contact that person, as well as how many months spent at certain residences if they've moved throughout the year.
Same as with the dental benefit, the CRA is suggesting direct deposit as the fastest and easiest way to receive this funding. The estimated wait time for payments is five business days if signed up for direct deposit, whereas it could take 10 business days to receive a cheque by mail.
Here too, applicants will have to keep any relevant documentation to back up their application in case the CRA comes calling in the next six years to validate their eligibility. This includes tax slips, rental property receipts, and landlord contact information.
Applicants found to be ineligible will be required to repay the benefit.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos was right in saying there is 'still lots of work to do' before reaching a deal with the provinces for increased health-care funding, but that he's 'confident' that the two levels of government will get there.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with CTV National News Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Omar Sachedina for a year-end interview to reflect on the political shifts experienced in 2022, and to contemplate the challenges ahead in 2023. Here is a full transcript of the interview.
After six weeks, more than 70 witnesses, and the submission of more than 7,000 documents into evidence, the public hearing portion of the Public Order Emergency Commission wrapped up on Friday.
The federal government's fall economic update makes it clear that while the deficit is declining, the risk that Canada enters into a recession is rising.
Members of Parliament—many dressed in black—returned to Ottawa on Thursday to take part in a 'special session' commemorating Queen Elizabeth II and marking the accession to the throne of King Charles III. The House of Commons held this historic opportunity to allow MPs to pay tribute ahead of Monday's national commemorations.
Like Jacinda Ardern, Justin Trudeau’s early handling of the pandemic was a reassuring communications exercise where harsh isolation measures went down easier with a hefty helping of government support, Don Martin writes in an exclusive opinion column for CTVNews.ca. 'But like the New Zealand Prime Minister, the Canadian PM's best days are arguably behind him. '
opinion | Don Martin: How bad was the committee hearing over holiday travel woes? Let me count the ways
The Standing Committee on Transport gathered Thursday with MPs demanding an explanation for how that highly unusual Canadian winter combination of heavy snow and cold temperatures which delayed or cancelled thousands of post-pandemic reunions. What they got was a gold-medal finger-pointing performance, writes Don Martin in an exclusive opinion column for CTVNews.ca.
From a more coherent public health and carbon tax position, to cutting the 'Freedom Convoy' connection and smiling more, Pierre Poilievre has seven New Year's resolutions to woo the voters in 2023, writes Don Martin in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca.
Find out what 'the best brains in Canadian politics' are predicting for Canadian politics in 2023, in Don Martin's exclusive column for CTVNews.ca.
Hope was in short supply just ten weeks ago on this 10-kilometre spit of sand at the end of the migration route for tens of thousands of Canadian snowbirds, Don Martin writes in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca from Florida's Fort Myers Beach. But there are signs, he says, things may return to normal much faster than anyone expected.
ANALYSIS & INSIGHTS
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
In an unusual move, the Russian Defence Ministry broadcast that one of its newest warships, the Admiral Gorshkov, had tested the strike capabilities of a hypersonic Zircon missile in a virtual drill.
The federal Liberal government is joining the Opposition Conservatives in no longer allowing its members of Parliament to expense taxpayers for home internet services.
In an exclusive interview with CTV’s Power Play, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is praising the moves from Western countries to send tanks to Ukraine.
On Feb. 27, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country needed fighters, and foreigners were welcome to join the front line in the defence against Russian aggression. Some Canadians were among the first to answer the call.
Canada is sending four combat-ready battle tanks to Ukraine and will be deploying 'a number' of Canadian Armed Forces members to train Ukrainian soldiers on how to operate them.
For some people, relaxation looks like settling down with a nice glass of wine and the most graphic, disturbing tale of murder imaginable.
One of the planet’s most unique wildcats has been detected for the first time on the tallest mountain on Earth — Mount Everest.
Retailers and tech companies use many tools to mine consumers for data they can share with third parties, but there are steps consumers can take to protect and safeguard their personal information.
Following the deaths of more than 300 children from contaminated cough syrups in several countries, Health Canada says it's been more than a decade since similar cases were identified here.
Ottawa police and Bylaw Services are telling residents and visitors they will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to parking, noise and fireworks violations downtown this weekend, on the one-year anniversary of the 'Freedom Convoy' demonstration.
Fourteen months after Dave Martens' chicken barns on Abbotsford's Sumas Prairie were flooded, the repairs are almost complete and he finally has birds again. Now, he's trying to keep it that way.
A commemoration planned for Sunday to mark the sixth anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting will be held for the first time inside the prayer room where six men were killed.
The independent body that oversees the safety of technical systems and equipment in British Columbia has found a deadly ammonia leak near Kamloops last May was a tragedy that took years to unfold.
U.S. President Joe Biden led a moment of silence at the White House on Thursday in honour of the victims of separate shootings that killed 11 people at a Southern California ballroom dance hall and and seven others at two mushroom farms in the northern part of the state.
Amsterdam has shared a time-lapse video of the construction of its brand-new underwater bike-parking facility.
The National Archives has asked former U.S. presidents and vice presidents to recheck their personal records for any classified documents following the news that President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence had such documents in their possession, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday.
Outraged rebel police officers paralyzed Port-au-Prince on Thursday, roaring through the streets on motorcycles in protest of a slew of killings of police officers by Haitian gangs.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday signed off on a two-year extension of a program that protects Hong Kong residents in the U.S. from deportation, renewing the protection until January 2025.
The CEO of Via Rail says that after a tree fell on a passenger train as it travelled on CN Rail tracks during the holidays, it took the freight company longer than hoped to clear it -- and passengers on board were stuck for 18 hours.
Liberal member of Parliament and former cabinet minister Kirsty Duncan has announced that she is taking an immediate medical leave due to a 'physical health challenge.'
When a teen boy developed an eating disorder, his family felt they'd 'lost him.' Now, he's sharing his story
Aware of the stereotypes and lack of knowledge about male eating disorders, a Canadian teen is sharing his story, hoping it helps others open up.
A new online calculator developed by Canadian researchers can help predict a person’s risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
New research indicates that head injuries are associated with two to three times higher mortality rates in adults, with neurodegenerative diseases more likely following instances of head trauma.
An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will whip past Earth on Thursday night, one of the closest such encounters ever recorded.
A chance discovery by an Edmonton area woman who was walking her dogs has turned out to be a massive fossilized bone that likely belonged to an Ice Age mammoth.
Sarah Del Seronde is a big believer in interrogating the word 'legacy,' particularly as it relates to her late husband, the filmmaker Jeff Barnaby. Before his death in October, the 46-year-old had an outsized influence on Indigenous storytelling -- and Seronde said that part of his work is ongoing.
Shania Twain says she worries her singing voice is on borrowed time and so she plans to 'hurry up and make more records.'
Shares of BuzzFeed Inc. extended gains to more than double in value on Thursday on reports the digital media firm was planning to use artificial intelligence to personalize and enhance its online quizzes and content.
The federal privacy watchdog says Home Depot shared details from electronic receipts with Meta, which operates the Facebook social media platform, without the knowledge or consent of customers.
A landmark lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department against Alphabet's Google over its dominance of advertising technology could help rivals and websites that sell ad space, but leaves an uncertain future for the advertisers themselves, experts told Reuters.
TikTok laundry expert Melissa Pateras shows how to wash winter coats in the washing machine.
An Ontario man says he feels he’s 'on top of the world' after scoring two huge lottery wins, about three weeks apart.
A rare, mint condition Canadian stamp, dating back to before Confederation, sold for nearly $300,000 at an Ottawa auction.
Elena Rybakina, a 23-year-old who represents Kazakhstan, reached her second final in a span of three major tournaments by beating Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (4), 6-3 at the Australian Open on Thursday, signalling a rapid rise toward the top of tennis.
The head of France's professional handball league resigned Wednesday after pleading guilty to child corruption and child pornography charges -- the country's latest sports scandal before it hosts next year's Paris Olympics.
The IOC made clear Wednesday it wants Russians to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics as neutral athletes, in defiance of Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy's call to exclude them entirely.
Tesla said it intends to invest US$3.6 billion to expand manufacturing capabilities in Nevada and is confident growing software-related profits, reflected in record net income reported Wednesday for the fourth quarter of last year, will keep margins higher than any other automaker.
There are still about 170,000 defective blue licence plates on Ontario's roads three years after production was halted.
Toyota set up a new leadership team Thursday in what the Japanese automaker said was a move to stay abreast of social changes like electrification and becoming a wider 'mobility company.'